Eight science faculty members from across CUNY have been selected to receive ASRC Seed Grants in 2019 for their early-stage research projects.

Learn more about the ASRC Seed Grant Program.

The Winners:

headshot: Ana Carnaval

Ana Carnaval

Associate Professor, Biology Department, The City College of New York

ASRC Partner: Andrew Reinmann, Environmental Sciences Initiative

Project Name: Harnessing Ecophysiology and Evolutionary Theory to Improve Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function

Goal: The team aims to develop a more accurate model for predicting distribution patterns of plant species under future climate conditions in order to mitigate the effects of environmental change on plant biodiversity ecosystem function.

headshot: Jacek Dmochowski

Jacek Dmochowski

Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering Department, The City College of New York

ASRC Partners: A. Duke Shereen, Neuroscience Initiative, and Dmitriy Korobkin, Photonics Initiative

Project Name: Deep Brain Light Stimulation

Goal: The team is working to develop and validate a new, noninvasive technique to stimulate deep brain regions using near-infrared light as a therapy for neurological and psychiatric disorders.

headshot: Lane Gilchrist

M. Lane Gilchrist

Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering Department, The City College of New York

ASRC Partner: Xi Chen, Nanoscience Initiative

Project Name: Isolation of Peptifoglycan from Hyperthemophillic Microorganisms for New Bioinspired Water Responsive Materials

Goal: The research team aims to develop a scalable method of creating water-responsive nanomaterials that can enable a new method of clean energy harvesting.

headshot: Igor Kushovsky

Igor Kuskovsky

Professor, Physics Department, Queens College

co-PI: Maria Tamargo
Professor, Chemistry Department, The City College of New York

ASRC Partner: Milan Bergliarbekov, Nanoscience Initiative

Project Name: Development of High Efficiency Intermediate Band Photovoltaic Devices

Goal: Kuskovsky’s team is endeavoring to use a novel material system developed by City College researchers to create solar cells that are significantly more efficient.

headshot: Mohammad-Ali Miri

Mohammad-Ali Miri

Assistant Professor, Physics Department, Queens College

ASRC Partner: Gabriele Grasso, Photonics Initiative

Project Name: Slow Light Based on Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Monolayers

Goal: The team aims to create nanofabricated structures capable of slowing the movement of light in order to better facilitate light-matter interactions with 2D materials and ultimately advance development of quantum computers.

headshot: Erika Niwa

Erika Niwa

Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, Brooklyn College

co-PI: Monica Trujillo
Professor, Biology Department, Queensborough Community College

ASRC Partner: Peter Groffman, Environmental Sciences Initiative

Project Name: Seeking Ground: An Interdisciplinary Study of the Restoration of Newtown Creek

Goal: This team aims to develop an emerging multidisciplinary collaboration between a microbiologist, a psychologist, and a biogeochemist to research links between ecological and community health.

headshot: Ghada Soliman

Ghada Soliman

Associate Professor, Environmental Health Department, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy

ASRC Partners: Rinat Abzalimov, Structural Biology Initiative, and Ye He, Neuroscience Initiative

Project Name: mTORC1/mTORC2 Impact on the Untargeted Metabolomics and Mitochondrial Functions in Pancreatic Islet β Cell Lines.

Goal: Soliman’s team is endeavoring to elucidate the role of two protein complexes (mTORC1 and mTORC2) in the development of type 2 diabetes.

headshot: Mariana Torrente

Mariana Torrente

Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department, Brooklyn College

ASRC Partner: Shana Elbaum-Garfinkle, Structural Biology Initiative

Project Name: Prions Meet Phase Separation: Rnq1/[PIN+]

Goal: The research team aims to determine whether the yeast prion protein Rnq1 undergoes a process called phase separation; the sequence determinants for this process; and how it might have a role in normal and aberrant cell biology.